A foreign exchange company has been ordered to pay $356,000 to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) after more than $100 million in transactions had not been properly checked under money-laundering laws.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) had been seeking a fine of about $2.6 million.

DIA accused Qian DuoDuo Limited (QDD) of failing to meet Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT) requirements for customer due diligence, account monitoring, record keeping and risk assessment.

The pecuniary penalty was handed down by Justice Grant Powell today in a hearing at the Auckland High Court.

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QDD, which was trading under Lidong Foreign Exchange, has not been accused of money laundering or funding terrorism.

Powell, in his final conclusion, said he noted "in particular my assessment
that the civil liability acts have not had any substantive effect on New Zealand's
financial system, I conclude the conduct reflected in the four civil liability acts does
not require the imposition of a significant deterrent penalty on QDD. "

"Taking the adjusted cumulative starting points of $420,000 and adding the $25,000 uplift for QDD's attempt to mislead the DIA during the investigation, I arrived at a subtotal of $445,000.

"When the 20 per cent discount for QDD's admission of liability and cooperation is applied the final pecuniary penalty for the four civil liability acts is $356,000," Powell said.